My Dentistry Blog
Posts for category: Oral Health
According to the American Dental Association, 47.2 percent of adults over the age of 30 have chronic periodontitis in the United States. Periodontal disease is also the leading cause of tooth-loss in adults, which is why you need to make sure you visit your Glenview, IL, dentist, Dr. Alexander Quezada, for your bi-annual dental checkup.
Periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, is caused by plaque. Dental plaque is a sticky substance that contains bacteria after someone consumes a sugar-containing meal. When teeth aren't thoroughly brushed, the buildup of plaque on teeth becomes hard tartar.
When tartar, or calculus, accumulates on your gums, you may notice swelling and your gums bleeding easily. If you start noticing these symptoms, this means you're experiencing gingivitis.
Here are some more symptoms to keep a lookout for:
- Bad breath or bad taste that persists
- Gums pulling away from teeth
- Loose permanent teeth
- Gums that are red, bleed easily or are swollen
Reasons for Gum Disease:
Besides plaque, which is a result of poor dental hygiene, there are other factors that contribute to the increased risk of periodontal disease:
- Crooked teeth that can't be cleaned properly
- Smoking and chewing tobacco
You should have an oral and dental examination at your Glenview family dentist's office every six months. Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day; brush your teeth after you eat breakfast and before you go to bed with a soft-bristled toothbrush. In addition to brushing, flossing daily, before going to bed, will help remove food debris, and reduce the buildup of plaque.
In addition to oral hygiene, avoid eating sugary foods, like sodas and candy. Resort to a healthier diet, like apples and carrots which help scrape off tartar from the surface of your teeth, and drinking water, which can wash away food particles.
If you want to schedule an appointment with Dr. Alexander Quezada for a bi-annual checkup or because you suspect you may be suffering from gum disease, call (847) 729-2233. His office is conveniently located in Glenview, IL, so don't hesitate to visit your dentist as soon as possible.
Invisalign is an innovative orthodontic method for straightening your smile. Invisalign functions similarly to braces by exerting gentle pressure on the teeth to gradually move them into the desired position over time. Where Invisalign differs is the use of soft, flexible aligner trays in place of hard brackets and wires to move the teeth. At Colonial Dental Group in Glenview, IL, Dr. Alexander Quezada is more than happy to use Invisalign to improve your smile quickly and discreetly.
How Does Invisalign Work?
Invisalign utilizes sets of aligner trays to straighten the teeth, with each set including two trays. One tray fits over the top arch of teeth, while the other tray fits over the bottom arch. These trays are custom created for each patient, and a new set is provided every few weeks. With each new set of trays, the teeth move closer to the final position. On average, it takes about twelve months for the teeth to be fully straightened with Invisalign. Your Glenview dentist can discuss with you the estimated length of time needed to straighten your teeth with Invisalign.
Benefits of Invisalign
You can enjoy several benefits when you choose Invisalign to straighten your smile. A major benefit of Invisalign is that it is discreet. The aligner trays are made from a clear plastic material so they are not easily noticed by others when smiling, talking, or eating. Additionally, the plastic material used to make the aligner trays is soft and flexible, making them a more comfortable option than the hard brackets and wires associated with braces, which can sometimes poke and irritate the mouth and gums.
Another major benefit of Invisalign is that the aligner trays are removable. They can be temporarily taken out when eating and drinking to prevent bits of food from getting trapped in between the trays and teeth. The trays can also be removed to brush and floss for easier oral hygiene. For individuals with braces, it is not always easy an easy task trying to brush and floss around the brackets and wires. Invisalign eliminates such oral hygiene challenges, making it much easier to maintain optimal oral hygiene while simultaneously straightening your smile.
With Invisalign, you can comfortably attain a straighter smile and experience a boost in confidence, as well. For Invisalign in Glenview, IL, schedule an appointment with Dr. Quezada or Dr. Lewis by calling Colonial Dental Group at (847) 729-2233.
Chronic pain can turn your life upside down. While there are a number of disorders that fit in this category, two of them—fibromyalgia and temporomandibular disorders (TMD)—can disrupt your quality of life to the extreme. And it may be the two conditions have more in common than similar symptoms—according to one study, three-fourths of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia show symptoms of TMD.
To understand why this is, let’s take a closer look at these two conditions.
Fibromyalgia presents as widespread pain, aching or stiffness in the muscles and joints. Patients may also have general fatigue, sleep problems, mood swings or memory failures. TMD is a group of conditions that often result in pain and impairment of the temporomandibular joints that join the jaw with the skull. TMD can make normal activities like chewing, speaking or even yawning painful and difficult to do.
Researchers are now focusing on what may, if anything, connect these two conditions. Fibromyalgia is now believed to be an impairment of the central nervous system within the brain rather than a problem with individual nerves. One theory holds that the body has imbalances in its neurotransmitters, which interfere with the brain’s pain processing.
Researchers have also found fibromyalgia patients with TMD have an increased sensitivity overall than those without the conditions. In the end, it may be influenced by genetics as more women than men are prone to have either of the conditions.
Treating these conditions is a matter of management. Although invasive techniques like jaw surgery for TMD are possible, the results (which are permanent) have been inconclusive in their effectiveness for relieving pain. We usually recommend patients try more conservative means first to lessen pain and difficulties, including soft foods, physical therapy, stretching exercises and muscle relaxant medication. Since stress is a major factor in both conditions, learning and practicing relaxation techniques may also be beneficial.
In similar ways, these techniques plus medication or cognitive-behavioral therapy that may influence neurotransmission can also help relieve symptoms of fibromyalgia. Be sure then that you consult with both your physician and dentist caring for both these diseases for the right approach for you to help relieve the effects of these two debilitating conditions.
If you would like more information on managing TMD or fibromyalgia, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Fibromyalgia and Temporomandibular Disorders.”
During pregnancy, your body isn’t the only part of your life that changes. Instead of “me,” you’re now thinking about “us”—you and the new person growing inside you. Because of this change in focus you may be re-examining your current habits to see if any could adversely affect your baby.
If you’re concerned your regular dental visits might be one of these, don’t be. Both the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Dental Association (ADA) recommend continuing regular dental exams and cleanings even during pregnancy.
In fact, professional dental care is often more important during pregnancy. Because of hormonal changes, you may develop food cravings for more carbohydrates like sugar. Unfortunately, eating more sugar could increase your risk for dental diseases like tooth decay and periodontal (gum) disease.
These same hormonal changes can also make you more prone to gum disease. There’s even a specific form of it known as pregnancy gingivitis that often occurs in expectant mothers. You may also experience “pregnancy tumors,” large, reddened areas of swelling on the gums.
To decrease your risk of pregnancy-related dental disease, you should certainly keep up your regular dental visits—and more if you begin to notice signs like swollen or bleeding gums. And although it’s usually best to postpone elective procedures like cosmetic dental work, you should be able to safely undergo any essential treatment for disease even if it requires local anesthesia. But do discuss any proposed dental work with both your dentist and obstetrician to be sure.
There are also things you can do for yourself during pregnancy that support your dental health. Be sure you’re practicing good oral hygiene habits like daily brushing and flossing. And by all means eat a well-balanced diet and restrict your sugar intake if at all possible. Taking care of these things will help you avoid dental problems and help make this memorable time in your life as joyous as possible.
If you would like more information on caring for your teeth during pregnancy, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Dental Care During Pregnancy.”
Everyone knows that in the game of football, quarterbacks are looked up to as team leaders. That's why we're so pleased to see some NFL QB's setting great examples of… wait for it… excellent oral hygiene.
First, at the 2016 season opener against the Broncos, Cam Newton of the Carolina Panthers was spotted on the bench; in his hands was a strand of dental floss. In between plays, the 2105 MVP was observed giving his hard-to-reach tooth surfaces a good cleaning with the floss.
Later, Buffalo Bills QB Tyrod Taylor was seen on the sideline of a game against the 49ers — with a bottle of mouthwash. Taylor took a swig, swished it around his mouth for a minute, and spit it out. Was he trying to make his breath fresher in the huddle when he called out plays?
Maybe… but in fact, a good mouthrinse can be much more than a short-lived breath freshener.
Cosmetic rinses can leave your breath with a minty taste or pleasant smell — but the sensation is only temporary. And while there's nothing wrong with having good-smelling breath, using a cosmetic mouthwash doesn't improve your oral hygiene — in fact, it can actually mask odors that may indicate a problem, such as tooth decay or gum disease.
Using a therapeutic mouthrinse, however, can actually enhance your oral health. Many commonly available therapeutic rinses contain anti-cariogenic (cavity-fighting) ingredients, such as fluoride; these can help prevent tooth decay and cavity formation by strengthening tooth enamel. Others contain antibacterial ingredients; these can help control the harmful oral bacteria found in plaque — the sticky film that can build up on your teeth in between cleanings. Some antibacterial mouthrinses are available over-the-counter, while others are prescription-only. When used along with brushing and flossing, they can reduce gum disease (gingivitis) and promote good oral health.
So why did Taylor rinse? His coach Rex Ryan later explained that he was cleaning out his mouth after a hard hit, which may have caused some bleeding. Ryan also noted, “He [Taylor] does have the best smelling breath in the league for any quarterback.” The coach didn't explain how he knows that — but never mind. The takeaway is that a cosmetic rinse may be OK for a quick fix — but when it comes to good oral hygiene, using a therapeutic mouthrinse as a part of your daily routine (along with flossing and brushing) can really step up your game.